Power and Crime
This book provides an analysis of the two concepts of power and crime and posits that criminologists can learn more about these concepts by incorporating ideas from disciplines outside of criminology. Although arguably a 'rendezvous' discipline, Vincenzo Ruggiero argues that criminology can gain much insight from other fields such as the political sciences, ethics, social theory, critical legal studies, economic theory, and classical literature.
In this book Ruggiero offers an authoritative synthesis of a range of intellectual conceptions of crime and power, drawing on the works and theories of classical, as well as contemporary thinkers, in the above fields of knowledge, arguing that criminology can ‘humbly’ renounce claims to intellectual independence and adopt notions and perspectives from other disciplines.
The theories presented locate the crimes of the powerful in different disciplinary contexts and make the book essential reading for academics and students involved in the study of criminology, sociology, law, politics and philosophy.
1. Introduction 2. A criminological classification 3. Fearing the future 4. The law of power 5. Domination, hegemony and violence 6. Inglorious human activities 7. The ethics of power 8. Balzac: power as crime 9. Conclusion.
‘A penetrating, passionate and profound critical analysis of the intimate inter-relations of crime and power. Whilst the everyday criminal "justice" process and the sadistic scapegoating of the popular media continue to demonise the deviance of the powerless, in the wake of the financial crisis and proliferating elite scandals this smokescreen is ever harder to maintain. Ruggiero marshals his considerable learning in many fields - philosophy, social and political theory, economics, literature, as well as conventional criminology - to demonstrate that contrary to the obfuscations of official statistics and the mass media, crime in the broadest sense is the twin of power. The book is an impressive illumination of vital issues, from one of the most sophisticated and erudite contemporary criminological theorists.’ - Robert Reiner, Emeritus Professor of Criminology, Law Department, London School of Economics, UK
‘Power and Crime advances the novel argument that the grey area between the licit and illicit – the legal and illegal, the deviant and the criminal - provides a haven of serendipitous, creative and diffuse possibilities linking crime with power. It argues boldly that criminology’s monopoly as a discipline to explain this phenomenon is less well deserved than most in it think. Insights from social theory, economics, politics, ethics and law furnish criminology with the analytical prospects for unpacking that grey area, rendering it visible. The prose is as persuasive as it is beautifully crafted, drawing upon disparate sources and disciplines rarely read together. The narrative power of this method illustrates why Vincenzo Ruggiero is one of the world’s leading scholars, sporting an impressive intellectual command over a wide terrain of the social sciences. This book is essential reading for a wide range of scholars and students across the social sciences.’ - Professor Kerry Carrington, Head of School of Justice, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
‘Ruggiero’s book provides an extremely important, comprehensive interpretation of a much-neglected subject. He moves beyond traditional criminological explanations regarding power and crime, and crimes of the powerful, in order to provide a unique and much-needed analysis of the causes and effects of these processes. Ruggiero’s approach will interest students and scholars of criminology and criminal justice, sociology, and political science.’ - Jeffrey Ian Ross, Ph.D., Professor, University of Baltimore, USA
'Offering a nice blend of economics, sociology, and ethics, Ruggiero manages to provide not only an interesting discourse on universal theories of elite crimes, but also a tightly packaged book on the subject of power in general, wasting no words in the process. Of interest to criminologists studying white-collar crime, as well as scholars focused on studying the power elite. Summing up: Recommended'— L. L. Hansen, Western New England University, CHOICE Reviews
'Although Ruggiero does not explicitly state as much, his book is clearly premised on the belief that criminologists should care about power crime and study it more than we do. He claims that crimes of the powerful “do not lend themselves to the conventional understandings” of criminology, which he sees as a “now too well consolidated” discipline (p. 2). Consequently, the book is meant to help criminologists “migrate to other areas of expertise” (p. 2), such as classical social theory and even Greek philosophy.'— Paul R. Schupp, Ph.D, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books (Rutgers University)
'In his short book, Professor Vincent Ruggiero of Middlesex University, offers a deep theoretical analysis of power and crime... Despite being short, this is a complex and challenging book, full of erudite dissection and interpretation of some of the most prominent thinkers of recent centuries. It reveals how the issues of power and crime are not new but have a long history and are fundamental to understanding the society in which we live.'— Dr. Jamie Bennett, Prison Service Journal
"Studying the crimes of the powerful is not a simple endeavour…. Ruggiero’s analysis unflinchingly embraces this complexity to provide the reader with perhaps the most comprehensive theoretical and philosophical explorations of the crimes of the powerful to date…. Power and Crime promises to become the foundational work for both students and scholars interested in crimes of the powerful." - Kevin F. Steinmetz, Kansas State University, British Journal of Criminology